Guests and Your Dog

Dog lovers and your guests

It’s a fact that not everyone is a dog lover. While we may not know any right off hand, every now and then we meet new people and sometimes invite them over for a cup of coffee or a chat to get to know them better.

So what happens when your guests don’t take to your pup the way you’d hoped? Perhaps they seem a little intimidated or maybe they just outright ask you to lock your pup up so they can come in. Some pet owners might be appalled, while some may be more understanding. But if you’re expecting guests, there are a few things to consider, especially if you think your visitors aren’t “dog-people.”

Be prepared

First of all, make sure that your guests know you are a dog owner. The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise situation. Knowing their preferences will allow you to alter your plans or make adjustments prior to their visit. It’s respectful and won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

What if they’re already at your door though? Perhaps a repair man shows up or even a traveling salesman knocks on your door. Luckily, most repair companies have become accustomed to asking if you have pets in your house prior to the visit, so be sure that you disclose this information to them (no need for details such as size or breed).

What you can do for surprise visits

But what happens if your guests show up and don’t take to your dog as expected. They may be intimidated by their size or even the breed. Though you may be sure your dog is the sweetest pup out there, there are many breeds which can seem a little intimidating, such as the Mastiff or Rottweiler, at first appearance.

The best technique is to not let your dog greet guests at the door. This can often intimidate both parties, and that’s not a good situation for your pup to experience. Instead, keep your dog back and introduce them after your guests have entered the home. Watch their body language and stay with them upon introductions, just in case your dog doesn’t like their presence. In most cases, dogs will want to investigate initially, but will quickly return to their regularly scheduled program.

Too excited

Of course, some conditions can be a little annoying, even for you. If your dog is overly excited, practice the introductions slowly. If you let them greet visitors at the door, they can show initial signs of aggression (they can sense when others are uncomfortable) or just downright want to hop into their arms and be their best friend.

In these instances, some owners prefer to keep their dogs behind a pet-gate where they can still see the activity but won’t be able to approach the guests. While it might seem restrictive for your pup, it often helps reduce anxiety and allows your guests to relax without a pup dancing all around them.

Dog allergies 

What if your guests are allergic? Just because your visitor seems uncomfortable with your dog, doesn’t mean they don’t like them. Many people, even dog owners, are allergic to dogs. In this case, it’s best to try to make your guest as comfortable as possible. And keep in mind that just because your dog isn’t present, doesn’t mean allergies won’t kick in, so confining your dog isn’t the best solution.

Instead, give your dog a bath. Allergies aren’t from dog fur as commonly believed. They’re actually from your dog’s dandruff (flaky skin) and even urine (which you hopefully keep outside or in their litter box). And 99% of dust is skin, which means that cleaning your dog and your house will greatly reduce allergy tendencies (a helpful hint for allergenic dog owners out there).

Cleaning house before visitors would consist of vacuuming the carpet and couches to pick up any dust or pet dander that is just lying around. Additionally, it’s best to keep lint-brushes handy for your guest’s use to ensure that they aren’t taking any allergies home with them. In most cases, if you can make your guests feel comfortable in your home, you’ll find that they may actually enjoy being around your dog, too.

Always remember that not everyone enjoys being around dogs or even other pets. But it’s your responsibility, to both your dog and your guests, to make sure that everyone knows the rules of your home before you make any plans. But as long as you can make everyone feel comfortable, you’d be surprised at how many people like dogs more than they thought they did.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Categories Dog CareTags ,

Leave a comment on Guests and Your Dog

How to Adopt a Stray Dog

Adopting a stray dog for dog lovers

As proud owners of our faithful dogs, we sometimes worry about what would happen if they got lost. They sometimes dig under the fence or find occasion to go exploring without our knowledge, but they come back most of the time. However, on the occasions this doesn’t happen, a dog ends up homeless, wandering around in the neighborhoods and streets.

What happens when you come upon a stray one? There are a few things to consider when finding a stray dog and even more to consider if you think you should keep them as your own.

Finding a stray pup

Always be cautious when approaching a stray dog. They may be aggressive or sometimes sick. Be aware of their paws and claws at all times. You don’t know them and they don’t know you, so they’ll likely be watching you just as keenly. Additionally, don’t approach an ownerless dog while your dog is with you, chances are they’ll get tangled up, which could scare off the stray.

Be aware of your surroundings even as you make the first approach. Don’t cause a scene, hold up traffic, or put yourself in harm’s way when approaching an ownerless puppy. If they run from you, don’t chase as it will only scare them even further. Instead, entice them with goodies, which you should deliver if they abide.

If you’re going to catch a dog, the best tools to use are water and food left out for them. Many dogs tend to be a little shy at first, but will quickly warm up to you once you’ve fed them and shown a little love. This will give you both a chance to examine and study one another, building that initial trust. In many cases, it’s wise not to try to catch a dog on your own, so call for assistance or back-up from a fellow pet owner or someone familiar with dogs (which is preferable).

Taking care of them 

Your own pup may be vaccinated, but that doesn’t mean the stray is. If they don’t have a collar, don’t let them mingle with your other dogs or pets. Several popular diseases, such as distemper, can affect young puppies very easily and are difficult to detect until it’s too late.

Be sure that you wash your hands regularly when handling a stray dog. This will prevent any spread of dirt and germs that could make both you and your pets sick.

Investigate

It is up to you to find out if there’s a rightful owner. Do they have a collar? A collar can hint to the fact that they’ve had a family and may have simply escaped.

While it may sound a little outrageous, you should ask them if they know where their home is (not literally). Quite simply, walk them around the neighborhood (it’s a good idea to use some of your dog’s old collars and leashes). Do they want to go somewhere in particular? Do they get excited in certain surroundings? Is someone looking for them? In most situations, a neighbor will recognize a puppy, and can help direct you towards the owners. If that doesn’t work, you can always put up “Lost Puppy” posters.

Make them comfortable

But in the meantime, you may be housing an extra boarder. So, it’s up to you to provide a good home during their stay with you. This would include a warm and comforting environment and possibly a toy to play with or chew on while you figure things out. Are they scared of being tied up or leashed? You don’t want to instill fear in your new-found friend, so begin taking note of their behavior immediately.

If you can’t find anyone to claim your stray dog, you may start considering something different. Should you adopt them? They found you, so perhaps it was meant to be. Always consider what you’ll need to do to adopt a new friend to ensure their health, comfort, and safety.

Taking them to the vet should be high on your priority list. This is to have them checked out and also see if they may have a tracking chip. If they are given a clean bill of health, take them to begin life as a new member of the family.

While not every dog that’s wandering around is necessarily stray, it doesn’t mean they all have homes. If you find a friend out wandering around, it could be a relationship destined to occur. Just be ready to take on the commitments of caring for your adopted dog- wherever they may have come from.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Categories Adoption, Dog CareTags , , ,

Leave a comment on How to Adopt a Stray Dog

Under the Seat and Standing Up

dog in plane
Dog owners who are flying with their pups

Traveling tends to be one of the most difficult experiences for pet owners. Among the various ways to travel with your pet, air travel presents the most difficulty. Unfortunately, when you have to get somewhere fast, flying is your best option.

However, there are conditions for flying with a pup that you and every dog owner should consider before scheduling an air travel. Although, you need to remember that these conditions may differ from airline to airline. This is especially true for international regions, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. Therefore, you need to check with your choice airline for specific information.

9 Useful Tips on Air Travel with Your Dog

1. You need to acquire a health certificate for your dog.

All airlines require an array of different limitations, most of which have a few things in common. The first and most obvious is to have a clean bill of health certification from your veterinarian that was dated within the last thirty days.

2.  You have to consider the weight and size limitations.

Weight restriction for pets is about 10 pounds. This limits the cabin to smaller breeds. Do keep in mind that weight limitation may also include your dog and his kennel. This is often limited to approximately 20 pounds.

Dog carriers must be designed to fit under the seat in front of you. On average, it should be about 9 inches in height and 18 inches across. Virgin America has one of the highest dog weight limits, and reasonable size accommodations. It allows dogs up to twenty pounds to enjoy a cabin flight.

3. Your pup must be able to stand up and turn around in his carrier.

The rule designating your dog’s ability to stand up and move around is to ensure that your pup is comfortable. After all, you wouldn’t like it if you had to travel in a tight sardine can.

4. You need to hand-carry bare essentials for your dog.

Since you are bringing your pup with you, this means that it’ll likely be replacing your carry-on bag. This means you’ll have to check-in any other luggage you have. So, be aware of what you will need during your air trip – including water, food, and potty bags.

5.  There is often an extra cost for bringing your pup into the cabin.

You don’t have to pay extra for your average carry-on bag though. The extra fee varies radically but often ranges from $75 to $150. It is highly recommended that you shop around for the best deal.

6. Airlines may blackout dates for pet travel during the winter months.

This could be done unexpectedly, which means that last-minute plans aren’t always going to work out the way you wanted them to.

Many airlines are working to become more accommodating to pet owners and their furry friends. There are limitations to how much they can handle though. This means that there is a set number of pets per flight for many of these airlines. Jet Blue, for example, only allows four pets per flight. This is yet another reason why a pet owner needs to plan as far ahead as possible to make sure their pup can make the flight.

7. Many flights will not allow dogs to fly to Hawaii. 

Be sure you take into account your destination when you are planning your trip – especially if you’re traveling to another country, such as the UK, Europe, and even Canada. However, Air Canada has a dog-friendly pet policy.

8. Certain breeds are not allowed.

Snub-nosed pups have a difficult time breathing in certain atmospheric pressure. This is probably why they are not allowed. Be sure your pup can handle the flight safely.

9. Don’t forget to check your local and landing airport for dog handling procedures.

There may be certain areas and locations where you’ll need to go or travel through (where you may be able to feed and care for your dog’s needs).

Flying with your pup can be an adventure and a difficult challenge at the same time (unless you properly prepare for it). If you’re traveling with your pup, be sure to call ahead and schedule a flight early enough to ensure you don’t run into any hitches at the airport. Just remember that your dog isn’t an item you can stuff and cram under the seat in front of you. Make sure your dog will fly comfortably so he can enjoy the journey and his time with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Categories Dog CareTags , , ,

Leave a comment on Under the Seat and Standing Up